Category Archives: FIELD TRIP

Vanderbilt, Yet Another Place for Medicine

Last Tuesday, as you all know, we visited Vanderbilt’s medical school. I honestly didn’t expect to see as much as we did (CELA, the lounge, ER). The sessions offered by students and admissions were helpful as well.

(One of the simulation exercises in CELA. Med students use devices like these to practice surgical skills by moving the objects from one peg to another. The idea is to understand three-dimensional entities from a two-dimensional perspective. And to do so in 48 seconds or less.)

(This mannequin also takes part in CELA training. They’re fairly convenient in the sense that you can’t really kill them if you make a mistake. They can’t file malpractice suits either.)

While we were touring CELA, I caught on to the recurring theme of groundbreaking changes in healthcare. The doctors would often say admiringly, “I didn’t have this when I was in med school.” For them, certain scenarios could only be experienced if their teachers came across certain patients in their practice. Med students would watch their instructors handle it once, have their own hands guided the next time, and that was it. Now, students can practice things like laparoscopy, intubation, patient histories, and breaking bad news with either well-programmed mannequins or well-trained actors. Modern ideas and technology enable us to teach medicine safely and comprehensively in ways not previously possible.

Additionally, we learned about Vanderbilt’s new curriculum from their admissions department. These changes place a greater focus on patient interaction, immersion, leadership, individualized experience, variation in backgrounds, and quality of interests (as opposed to quantity). In other words, they want doctors who do more than look good on paper.


(Vanderbilt school of medicine graduates of the late 19th century vs. this year. How many differences can you spot?)

Many people can tell us about how wonderful these programs are (and get paid to do so), but how does this affect patient outcomes? Talking to the 4th year med students and touring the ER provided the most direct evidence. The two students we spoke to appeared to be well-rounded and genuinely passionate about their field of study. The aforementioned technologies have most likely aided both students and doctors with efficiency and competency. However, Vanderbilt Medical Center statistics from don’t seem to show too many significant differences in patient outcome when compared to the national average. I could be a bad statistician/googler, or maybe there aren’t any transparent data of healthcare quality over time. Both are equally likely. This could end with a lecture on problems with healthcare safety in the US, but I don’t feel nearly patient enough (and neither do you, I’m assuming).

Vanderbilt Field Trip

Yesterday was my favorite day of FYP because it was fun and interesting yet informative. We went to Vanderbilt and had the privilege to speak with doctors, students, and admissions counselors. Each person who spoke to us was very helpful and gave me an insight into what exactly medical school would be like. They really helped me narrow down what profession I might want to pursue in the future. Getting to see where and how the med students study and practice was interesting. Also, taking to the med students was one of the most helpful conversations I’ve had when it comes to figuring out what I want to do. They made it clear that medical school is challenging and expensive, but they have a good time doing it, and it will all be worth it in the end. Learning about what the admissions advisors at Vanderbilt are looking for in a students was also very helpful so that I can start to achieve these goals early on in my college career. Touring the trauma center was my favorite part of the day. Although I don’t see myself working in the trauma center, it was still really neat to see how all of the doctors and nurses works together to help the many patients that come in each day. I knew I was leaning towards pre med as a major before coming to Sewanee, but now I am almost positive that medicine is the career path I wish to pursue. Overall yesterday was a very inspiring and enriching day, and I am so fortune to have had the opportunity to visit Vanderbilt!

Vanderbilt Medical Experience

Yesterday, we ventured to Vanderbilt up in Nashville, and it was incredible, completely intimidating, but incredible none the less. I loved being able to talk to the current med students. After being told what exactly med schools were looking for and feeling entirely inadequate and incapable, it was inspiring and motivating to listen to the seniors in med school who were applying for their residency. I loved listening to them talk about what they were passionate about and how to them despite the expenses med school was so worth it. Everyone we talked to described being a doctor as becoming a life long learner. I was very drawn to this image. I love learning new things and trying new techniques. The day ended in the ER. I’ve toured many hospitals and even participated in a variety of medical camps, and I’ve never been allowed so freely into the ER. It was very interesting to look at the board as the Chief explained to us the system of triage. Overall, it was a great day in Nashville.

What A Day!

Today was honestly an extraordinary day. It all began with visiting the medical center at Vanderbilt University. I learned so much from the staff and especially from Dr. Murell and the other doctor, who’s name I have forgotten, that works in the Vanderbilt hospital. The ability of the hospital building being able to hold 75 rooms, receive an average of 70 patients on a slow day, and receive about 200 patients on a busy day is very unpredictable yet believable. Although todays field trip didn’t have much to do with my desired profession as an orthodontist, I feel as if I am very fortunate to have gotten that experience and education.

Another opportunity I was given today was viewing the country side of Tennessee. Today had to have been my first time spending time in the country, listening to the music, and observing the interactions the people had encountered. I almost feel that if a person chooses to live in Tennessee, he or she automatically has the talent of singing or playing and instrument. Majority of the bars and restaurants that we passed by had live country performances from local people. I must say I truly enjoyed myself, especially with the wonderful dinner that Professor Summers blessed us with. These trips and adventures that we take are truly eye openers for me. I am continuously being taken to places I never thought I would go to before.

Vanderbilt Fieldtrip

Today was probably my favorite day of FYP. I really enjoyed seeing and learning more about the Vanderbilt medical center, and touring the ER was very exciting. I feel like I learned more today about the medical field than I ever have!
I really enjoyed getting a view of the dynamics in the ER. Even though I was only an outsider looking in, this experience definitely helped solidify my decision of wanting to go into a health profession. Even if I don’t go to Vanderbilt specifically, this trip showed me that I definitely do want to pursue a career in health after college.

In addition to touring the medical center, I also really enjoyed spending time in Nashville with my awesome group! Overall, I have really enjoyed the opportunities I have received so far through FYP to meet new people, get to know my advisor, and explore the options for my future.